Tag Archives: November 22 2023

Angela Sterritt, right, discusses the challenges faced by Indigenous journalists and allies in Canadian newsrooms with CBC journalist Julia Caron at the Maison de la Littérature. (Photo by Myriam Labbé)

Salon du Livre des Premières Nations shows many faces of Indigenous literature

Salon du Livre des Premières Nations shows many faces of Indigenous literature  Myriam Labbé myriam@qctonline.com From Nov. 16-19, the Indigenous cultural promotion nonprofit Kwahiatonhk! hosted the Salon du livre des…

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Premier François Legault (right) met with Caisse head Charles Émond Nov. 15 to discuss the tramway study. (Photo provided by François Legault via Twitter/X)

TRAM TRACKER: Marchand to co-operate with new plan; Duclos warns funds at risk

TRAM TRACKER: Marchand to co-operate with new plan; Duclos warns funds at risk  Peter Black, Local Journalism Initiative reporter peterblack@qctonline.com Events are in motion in the wake of the Quebec…

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COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS HAMPER CAMPAIGN: Reflections on the Season of Giving

COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS HAMPER CAMPAIGN: Reflections on the Season of Giving

Submitted by Cindy Joyce Djamen, Quebec Community Christmas Hamper Campaign

Ho, Ho, Ho everyone! This is the most exciting time of the year, Christmas! I grew up in Cameroon. With great joy and anticipation, my family would decorate the house and prepare the menu and guest list in advance. Toys were not among our gifts. The simple acts of reuniting with our loved ones, playing games, laughing and eating our favourite meals together until 2 a.m. were enough. 

The best aspect of that time of year was giving back to others. We would buy fresh food and donate it to orphanages. We also made sure not to forget to invite a Muslim friend or neighbour to join us in our home to celebrate the joy of the season. It was all about acceptance and love. 

When I arrived at the Eastern Québec Learning Centre, I wasn’t sure what to expect. In my new role as reception, referral, counselling and support project development officer, I was invited to replace my predecessor on the Community Christmas Hamper Campaign organizing committee. In my experience so far, the campaign is wonderful. It is beautiful to see the various religious denominations, schools and community organizations uniting to help households in need. 

I called a woman who received a hamper last year to tell her she was eligible to receive one again this Christmas. She told me, “I am in a better place this year. Mentally, I feel good, and although I am not rich, I would like to volunteer instead of receiving this year.” I also had the opportunity to offer a hamper to a father of five children who is back at school full-time. He told me, “Times are not easy right now money-wise, but we can eat properly, so I would rather volunteer to help others who are in greater need.” It was heartwarming to hear.

For details about how you can contribute, visit qchampers.ca, email give@qchampers.ca or call Hamper Headquarters at 418-684-5333, ext. 11835. Follow the Quebec City Community Christmas Hamper Campaign Facebook page to see how the community is supporting this initiative.

I am very glad to be part of this community initiative and to witness honesty, compassion, and understanding for Christmas. I wish you a beautiful Christmas, full of hope.

Cindy Joyce Djamen is shown celebrating her very first Christmas in Cameroon. (Photo courtesy of Cindy Joyce Djamen)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Could tramway pause be beneficial?

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Could tramway pause be beneficial?

Dear Editor: 

I would hope that the mandate given to the Caisse de dépôt et placement [regarding the tramway project] will take a close look at decisions taken at the beginning of the project and respond to the issues raised by citizens who have not received a response from the project office.

At the start, many decisions were made in a hurry without knowing the costs and consequences. For example, the tunnel was chosen at the beginning of 2018, while a firm specializing in tunnels was only hired in September 2019. This led to a change in the route and a substantial increase in the expected costs. The underground layout represents a “nightmare” for a contractor that needs to dig – there are three right-angle turns close together, which implies dynamiting. Daniel Genest, the director of the project office, has indicated that it represents one of the most costly aspects of the project.

The choice of the tunnel and of a rail-based tramway that cannot climb the Côte D’Abraham because the slope is slightly more pronounced than the cars can handle can be the object of many scenarios:

  • The choice of an articulated trolley on rubber tires that could reach the top of the Côte would eliminate the need for a tunnel (one could possibly envisage outfitting the vehicles with batteries, in order not to be dependent on the overhead wires –  and thus being able to cross the Quebec Bridge to reach Lévis).
  • Maintaining a rail-based tramway but using at-ground and above-ground paths. It would be possible to explore an alignment that would be slightly longer, which would bring the slope down to the maximum the railcars can reach.
  • The choice of a stronger motor and increased traction in order to allow the railcars to climb Côte D’Abraham, as they did in the last century.  


Paul Mackey

Quebec City 

OPINION: QCGN demands health reform rethink

OPINION: QCGN demands health reform rethink

Submitted by the Quebec Community Groups Network

The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) urges all Quebecers to sign a petition demanding the provincial government put an immediate hold on its proposed Bill 15, which would launch a massive centralization of health-care management and dramatically reduce community roles in the governance of health and social services institutions everywhere in Quebec.

The deadline for signing the petition is two weeks away, as there are fears the government may seek to impose closure to push the 300-page bill through the National Assembly before it rises for its holiday break on Dec. 8.

“We heard experts tell us Bill 15 is focused on structure and governance and will do nothing to address the crises in our emergency rooms, delays in surgeries, the lack of family doctors or other shortcomings of our health care system,” said QCGN president Eva Ludvig. “What it will do is centralize government control of the health and social services network under an umbrella organization called Santé Québec, to which all 30 heads of regional authorities would report, while abolishing the boards of all local institutions and removing any management role from patients, families, volunteers and communities – the people the health-care system exists to serve.”

We note that six former premiers from different parties took the extraordinary step of writing an open letter urging the government to reverse course on a bill they described as “dangerous” which would do little to improve efficiencies in the health and social services network.

“The Quebec government had studied the more centralized Alberta Health Care system as a model to emulate,” said QCGN director general Sylvia Martin-Laforge. “The problem is that Alberta has just begun to dismantle its bloated, centralized system, in part because it wasn’t effec- tive in dealing with the lack of primary care and overcrowded emergency rooms – two of the biggest problems in Quebec’s health-care network. Does Quebec really want to follow a path that failed elsewhere?”

Greater centralization will also negatively affect the management of minority-language access to services, the webinar was told, as local committees in charge of English-language access programs will be replaced by a central body, far removed from individual communities.

“Whether in education or in health care, the government has demonstrated a penchant for centralizing power and control,” Ludvig said. “We urge Quebecers to pay attention and speak out before this steamroller of a bill becomes law.”

The petition urges the Quebec government to recon- sider Bill 15 to avoid negative effects on patients, volunteers, researchers and local communities; hold additional consultations so citizens and groups who did not have the opportunity to be heard can be; and amend the bill to preserve governance and proximity to the community in health and social services, including in English.

People who sign the online petition should expect to get an email seeking confirmation of their signature. Only after they submit that confirmation will their signature be added.

The petition can be found on the National Assembly website at assnat.qc.ca/fr/exprimez- votre-opinion/petition/Petition-10545/index.html.